Switch off or turn up with the RUSSH editors. This September we're ramping up our recommendations. Blame it on the sunshine – we certainly will, as our content director, Elyssa Kostopoulos, notes, we're using the jolly weather as an excuse to sit and read outdoors under the nearest tree. Others are face-deep in deadlines and are dialling up the music to carry them through to the end. Below, the RUSSH editors share their list of book, tv, film and music recommendations from September 2023.
Executive Fashion Director
Watch… Don’t judge me but I’m very into the The Real Housewives. The OC ladies are giving me life right now. Also just finished the new season of Below Deck. Sorry, not sorry for the reality binge.
Read… I just finished A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and cannot believe I haven’t read it until now. Such a beautiful portrait of both himself and the city of Paris. Cannot recommend enough.
Listen… David Bowie on repeat. He keeps me going when we are nearing deadline. Intermittently breaking up the Bowie dancthems (dance anthems, see what I did there?) with Animal Collective and Bjork.
Watch… I recently watched Netflix’s Live to 100 mini-series, which was a fascinating exploration of the earth’s Blue Zones, where humans live the longest and healthiest. It’s led me to do some ruminating on how I could be setting myself up health-wise later in life, and has solidified my need to visit Ikaria in Greece next time I am Europe-side.
Read… I recently picked up a copy of Olivia Liang’s Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency by way of continuing my unorthodox art history education. It’s wonderfully concise, deeply interesting and has already taught me so many fascinating things about artists and their lives.
I also recently subscribed to Molly Blutstein’s Substack (also known as @accidentalinfluencer on IG). I’m loving her sweet and unpretentious musings on miscellaneous topics.
Listen… I’ve been enjoying playing Berlioz’s Jazz is for Ordinary People on my morning walk to work. It’s a fun and accessible EP for those looking to dip a toe in the world of jazz music. It also just puts me in a good mood.
Watch... A recent trip to New York reminded me that season three of Morning Wars was now primed and ready to go, so I’ve been enjoying the easy-watching nature of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon fighting it out for America’s best news anchor. Really ignites something in my journalist-by-trade spirit.
Read… Sara Pascoe’s Weird. The temperature is finally turning up as we head into the warmer seasons, and for me, reading outside under a big tree with the sun peaking through is an unmatched experience. I haven’t made it all the way through yet, but the world Pascoe has created is exactly as she describes – weird. It’s equal parts awkward, hilarious and disgustingly relatable. I both hate and love that I have found myself inside these pages.
Listen… Sorry, Madonna. It has been on blast the entire month.
Consumer Revenue Manager
Watch… Friends. The magic feeling I get from my small screen besties is a forever thing. I get “pick a card, any card!” joy every time I shuffle through the list of episodes to choose from. A show to have on while baking or watering my indoor plants? Yes please.
Read… The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. A feel good fiction, where we are reminded of our innate responsibility to live life with passion and to listen to our honest and true inner voice. The world is your oyster, baby!
Listen… Learn French with Paul Noble. I began learning French in high school and loved it, however, the lack of practice has left my memory clinging onto a handful of phrases and words at best… fromage, anyone? Paul to the rescue, courtesy of Audible.
Read… Our September issue, of course! I loved designing this one from start to finish.
Listen… Rehab by Rihanna. That shit slaps extra hard at the moment.
Creative Studio and Campaigns Manager
Watch… A Bugs Life. Such a simple movie recently brought me so much joy. Something about the late 90s animation, the triumph of good over evil, it was a great mid-week movie moment. I also may or may not have been inspired to watch this movie because of this meme...
Read… The White Album by Joan Didion. Trying to be intellectual with this one, so far I’m 50 pages in but I love a bit of insight into life in the 60s and 70s, and especially love the famous cameos.
Listen… Cellophane by Holy Holy. I recently went to Holy Holy’s listening party/album launch/tour in Sydney and had the pleasure of hearing the band discuss their new album and the making of. It was a special night and I'm listening to the new album on repeat because of it. I especially love the song Rosé.
Watch… Selling Sunset (I love real estate).
Read… My emails. We're shooting the new issue and I can’t read during this period.
Listen… A balanced mix of Andrea Bocelli, new Kylie Minogue and, still, Caroline Polachek.
Arts & Culture Editor
Watch... Shayda. Set in the 90s, this film from Australian-Iranian director Noora Niasari follows the title character as she moves into a women's shelter with her six-year-old daughter Mona to escape her husband's abuse. It's taut and lived-in, and is partly based off of Niasari's own experience. Zar Amir Ebrahimi is incredible.
Read... Green Dot by Madeleine Gray. Why would a 24-year-old bisexual woman in Sydney wander into a clichéd affair with a married middle-aged man when she has the world at her feet? Gray explores this with clear eyes and a killer sense of humour.
Listen... Sorry You're Sick by Ted Hawkins. Every year I create a Spotify playlist for all the songs that have been stuck in my head; it's not curated, more the equivalent of the "everything draw" we all have at home. This is a recent addition, there's just something about Hawkins' tone. The musician's story reminds me a lot of Jackson C. Frank's.
Also, Bri Lee and Bridie Jabour's podcast is keeping me company on my walks. A few highlights: Lee discussing the gratitude she felt after reading Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead on her honeymoon, both women unpicking Andrea Long Chu's scathing profile of Zadie Smith for The Cut, and the politics of getting your food delivered. Big recommend from me.
Watch… Dirty Dancing. I recently rewatched and it’s just as good as the first time. Baby...
Read… I just finished Work Smarter: Live Better by Cyril Peupion and while it’s not my usual genre, I loved it. It was packed with so many practical tips to be more productive and less distracted (two attributes I was desperate for). I’ve employed a few and already feel slightly more in control of my workload. If you want a self-help adjacent read that’s not fluffy or overly inspirational I highly recommend.
Listen… Right now, a mix of gay anthems (Troye, Kylie) and dancefloor stuff (Crazy P and Jamiroquai).
Assistant to Editor-In-Chief
Watch… I've just finished watching the new and last season of Sex Education – yes, tears were shed. It felt like I was watching an alternate version of Normal People this season. The characters are just so damn loveable. I am about to start watching the new season of American Horror Story. Kim Kardashian plays Kris Jenner's job in the show; meta asf.
Read… I will be honest, I haven't done much reading… it has been a busy month. However, when I don't have much time I tend to gravitate to reading some poetry. I have been reading poems from Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, a collection of poems that explores a journey of love and loss. I do want to read A little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, I have heard fab reviews. And if I was to read another collection of poetry it would probably be Love Is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski.
Listen… September has been the most random month of music. I'm listening to a rotation of Travis Scott's new album Utopia and SZA, but then also Harry Styles and Shania Twain. I’m not usually a podcast listener, however I'm also listening to Anything Goes by Emma Chamberlain.